Today marks the end of family mediation week. In this blog site we summarise the mediation process and, as considered in our historical blog sites, analyze the key benefits of mediation and other techniques of conflict resolution as a method of resolving the practical arrangements following separation.
The family mediation process
mediation usually starts with the mediator having a brief initial call with each of the parties. The function of this call is to talk to the parties about the mediation procedure and consider separately with them whether there are any problems which would imply that mediation is not proper.
following the initial calls, the mediator will have a meeting with each party separately (this is typically called a Mediation Information Assessment Satisfying (MIAM)) to go over the background briefly and describe a little bit more about the mediation process. The initial meetings are confidential and so the material will not be talked about with the other celebration.
First joint meeting
following the private conferences, if the parties wish to proceed with mediation, they will arrange a joint session with the mediator. The very first meeting is used to go through the Agreement to Mediate form, handle any interim or pushing issues and to set the agenda for future sessions.
Further joint meetings
the focus of future meetings will depend on the problems the parties wish to cover but this will normally include discussion around the plans for the children followed by a review of the parties’ monetary disclosure and an expedition of possible financial settlement.
In the event that a contract is reached, the mediator can record the relevant info and decisions in a number of documents called:
- Open Financial Statement
this records the parties’ financial information as set out in the financial disclosure offered. This is an open instead of without prejudice document.
- Memorandum of Understanding
this records the discussions in mediation and the general choices reached. This is a without prejudice file and can not be disclosed in any court proceedings.
- Parenting Plan
this records the plans for the children and any other matters parents want to document in respect of the day to day care of their children.
Any contract reached in mediation is not lawfully binding till the parties have had independent legal recommendations on it. Once this has actually happened, one of the celebration’s lawyers will typically turn the Memorandum of Understanding into an order which can be lodged at court for approval by a judge.
The advantages of family mediation
There are a number of benefits to the mediation process, some of which are set out listed below. Mediation is wrong for everybody and the mediator and a celebration’s own lawyer will think about any problems which might make mediation unsuitable or difficult. The advantages include:
Family mediation is a member of the ADR or alternative dispute resolution family. It forms one of the core pillars of mediation services provided globally.
Historically, it is not clear geographically where family mediation first evolved. However, family mediation has been present in various forms in various cultures world-wide for thousands of years.
The system is focused on providing a dispute resolution mechanism to families who are in dispute. Divorce mediation forms part of the family mediation tree of services.
Modern day family mediation is divided into two main fields namely mediation and comediation. In the former of the two fields a single mediator works with the family in dispute. In the latter of the two fields, two or more mediators work with a family in dispute. Mediations are completed by the use of either joint or single caucuses. In single caucuses the mediator/s caucus one party at a time. In joint caucuses the mediator/s work with all sides to the dispute present in the same session. The majority of family disputes have two sides however in family disputes between siblings it is not uncommon for several parties to be involved.
- The mediator will motivate the parties to set the agenda and validate what they want to cover in mediation. You can resolve matters essential to your own family and those which may not otherwise matter in a court procedure.
- Mediation sessions can be arranged for a time and place hassle-free to you and the mediator. You choose the length of time between sessions and manage its rate. You will not have to wait months for the next date as can happen in a court procedure, and similarly you can ensure you each have adequate time to collect monetary disclosure and reflect on recommendations made.
- Decisions reached in mediation can be tailored to suit your family. This is in contrast to court enforced decisions where the judge may not have the power to enforce comparable arrangements or has actually not appreciated the subtlety of why a particular tip might be better.
When a decision is made together in mediation, it is more most likely that parties will be content with and stick to it. Mediation is designed to promote communication and a continuous co-parenting relationship.
mediation is a personal and private procedure which indicates that parties are motivated to be open about alternatives they wish to think about. This usually results in parties making ideas they would be reluctant to make in court procedures. For high profile clients, it is also a method of keeping details of your relationship out of the public eye.
- Expenses and speed
if effective, mediation can be more affordable and quicker than court procedures. By setting the program and picking the variety of sessions you have, parties have far more control over the procedure than when they are part of court procedures. The mediator will likewise make sure and manage the procedure that mediation does not continue if it is ineffective or making matters worse.
Although family mediation has actually remained in focus this week with #FamilyMediationweek, in proper cases it can provide an invaluable way of resolving family conflicts efficiently and agreeably and it ought to be something that is encouraged all year.